Tuesday, October 31, 2006


When I left New Zealand 1o years ago my image of a mushroom was a little white button one or maybe if you were lucky a big horse-mushroom found in the paddocks. That was about as far as the varieties went. I know things have changed a little now , but compared to Japan New Zealand is still way behind on the mushroom varieties!
The most common variety grown here are "Shitake" mushrooms. Most people are probably familiar with them in the dried form, but here in Japan they are also readily available fresh - my father-in-law grows them up the hill so we have a good supply. They are grown on a special kind of tree (I can't remember which right now...) and will usually produce for a couple of years before you need to replace the trees and drill in some more spores. Shade seems to be the major factor as to whether they are successful or not.
Today when I went to check on the shitake mushrooms I discovered that my father-in-law's experiment with another kind of mushroom is also working pretty well..... I have no idea what kind they are, but they seem to be appearing everywhere. I also have no idea how they are supposed to be cooked, but mushroom soup might be on the menu next week.....

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